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Principal's Newsletter Term 1 Week 2, 2014

posted Feb 10, 2014, 12:16 AM by Unknown user

On Tuesday the 28th of January and Wednesday the 29th of January, 2014, the 2013 Australian-New Zealand Brain Bee Challenge was held in Adelaide South Australia. Day 1 was held at the University of Adelaide and Day 2 was held at the Australasian Neuroscience Society Annual Conference. 10 eager science students from across Australia and New Zealand participated in the activities over the two days and displayed an excellent understanding of neuroscience. After 4 neuroscience challenges and a very close competition, the results were decided.


2013 Australian Champion: Eva Wang from Queensland and 2013 Australian Runner Up -Ricky Chung. This is a fabulous achievement for Ricky of Year 11 and for his James Ruse Brain Bee team and teachers that assisted him move through the NSW rounds. Congratulations Ricky.


Congratulations to Samuel Chiu (11), Brendan Ma (11) and Eklavya Wangoo who have been elected to the 2014 YMCA NSW Youth Parliament.


Four students attended the Annual Youth Leaders Breakfast on Wednesday morning –Swathi Sridharan, Hillary Pan, Donna Zhuang and Joyce Yang. The girls had a wonderful time.


Year 7 are settling in and enjoying Peer Support periods with their Year 11 Leaders. It is wonderful to see so many Year 7 students signing up to activities and clubs. Thank you to our Year 11 Peer Support Leaders.


Our School Counsellor, Mr Gabriel Wong, will be at school on Monday and Thursday each week and our District Guidance Officer, Ms Melissa Jovanovic, will be available on Tuesdays.


Students were reminded this week to take pride in their school uniform and their presentation:

Wednesday Sports Days: On Wednesdays, the correct sports uniform (Year 9-12) is the tracksuit. Students are not permitted to wear shorts and a t-shirt as their uniform to school. If they do not have a tracksuit or if it is too hot, students are asked to wear normal uniform and change during the day. Students in Year 7 and 8 wear their school uniform to school and change for Sport or PDHPE. Students in year 7 or 8 do NOT need to purchase a tracksuit.


Normal School Days: Students are asked to ensure they are wearing correct school uniform at all times; correct socks, shoes, shirts tucked in and skirts / dresses an appropriate length.


Carnivals (we have 3 carnivals in Term 1): Students are asked to wear sports uniform to the carnivals. They may wear their shorts and either a yellow sports T-Shirt or a House Colour Shirt.


Year 7 Information Night and BBQ – my apologies for publishing an incorrect date last week – the Year 7 BBQ and Information night will be held on March 6th.


Valentine’s Day Dance – Please allow and encourage your child to attend the dance on Wednesday 12th February - 6.30pm and 9.30pm. The Prefects have spent many hours organising a wonderful event to build the spirit and traditions of Ruse. If students live a long way from school, they may stay at school between 3.05pm and the dance. We will provide minimal supervision to allow this to occur. Please collect your child from the gate / door of the hall when you wish your child to leave the dance. We do not allow students to leave without a parent. We will employ security guards to patrol the school grounds and ensure we are not disturbed. Please see attached the lovely invitation / letter our Prefects have written to parents.


Start time for all Night Events – all school events will start at 6.30pm.


School Calendar – An up to date version of the school calendar is available on the Intranet. Please consult the calendar for information of upcoming events and for your planning.


Health Care Plans – If any student has an illness / allergy / condition it is important that the school knows and is given strategies to deal with any issues that might arise. Please ask your Doctor to complete a Health Care Plan (attached at the end of this newsletter) and return it to the school. It would be best to make an appointment to discuss this plan with your child’s year advisor.


Our Year Advisors in 2014 are:

·         Year 7              Ms Sandra Fernandez

·         Year 8              Ms Keira Brooks

·         Year 9              Ms Sofia Hameed

·         Year 10 Mr Trent Wilson

·         Year 11 Ms Kristy Webb

·         Year 12 Mr Neil Pakes

·         Head Teacher Welfare            Mr David Shaw

·         Supervisor of Girls and Learning Support Coordinator  Ms Natalie Novotni


Dropping off and Picking up students:  Please remember to be extremely careful in the streets around our school. Many students from the three nearby schools are often walking past. Parents must not drive into the school grounds or park in the Bus Bay to collect students. Many parents have received heavy fines for stopping in the Bus Bay.


Unusual Days – Wednesday and Thursday A

Wednesday is Sports Afternoon for students in Years 9-12. At 2.26pm we are offering scripture (Special Religious Education) to students of all years. We would be happy to provide scripture to students of Islamic and Hindu faith if there are sufficient numbers. I have asked students to email me if there is an interest.


Non – scripture students on Wednesday afternoon – If parents of Year 7 or 8 students have decided that their child will not attend scripture they are permitted to read or play quietly in the playground with supervision. If students can walk home, are collected by their parents or catch the Carlingford Train they are permitted to leave after 2.26pm. Students that catch buses must stay at school until 3.5pm.


Thursday A’s – On Thursday A we hold our staff meeting or faculty meetings at 2.26pm, student clubs, activities and Olympiad training also occur. Often year meetings will also be held in this time. Students that are free (from Year 7-12) are permitted to walk home, be collected by parents or catch the Carlingford Train. Students in Yrs 11/12 may catch the M54 buses, other students must remain at school until 3.05pm.


Coming Events:

Wednesday 12th February         Valentine’s Day Dance

Friday 14th February                Valentine’s Day Assembly P6

Monday 17th February              Swimming Carnival

Thursday 20th February           JRAHS High Achievers Assembly – celebrating our Duxes and highest achieving Year 12 students of 2013.         (10am)

Tuesday 25th February Year 12 Information Night 6.30pm

March 6th February      Year 7 BBQ and Information Afternoon /Evening


Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors


Extra and Co-Curricular Activities at JRAHS in 2014


Year Group


Ag Enrichment

Year 10

Interested students participate in agricultural and farm related activities that go beyond the curriculum. Occurs after school.

Amnesty International

All Years

Students participate in awareness raising activities that promote equality, social justice and human rights. Lunchtime activity.

Animal Handling

Year 12

Year 12 students participate in a program involving the handling of large animals often in preparation for veterinary studies. During Sport for Year 12 only.

Anime Club

All Years

Students share their interest and passion for Anime. (Lunchtime)

Big Band ( Concert / Jazz Band)

All Years

Students become members of the Big Band. Before School.

Biology Olympiad Training

All Years

Students are prepared for the Biology NQE. After School.


Year 8-12

Students join the James Ruse Army Cadet Unit and develop teamwork and leadership skills. Includes after school sessions and bivouacs.

Canteen Service

Years 8-12

Students volunteer to work in the canteen either during lunch as a sales assistant or before school to assist with preparation.

Chemistry Olympiad Training

All Years

Students are prepared for the Chemistry NQE. After School.


All Years

Students become members of the JRAHS Choir. Before School.

Cloud 9

All Years

Students promote positive psychology and awareness of positivity / happiness projects. Lunchtimes.


All Years

Students compete in a wide range of competition including- Australian Mathematics Competition, UNSW Maths Comp, ICAS English, ICAS Science, ICAS Computer Skills, Business Studies Competition, Economics Competition, Big Science Competition, Brain Bee Challenge, Science and Engineering Challenge, Geography Competition and more. Students also seek out challenges and competitions that cater to their specific talents.

Cross Curricular Project

Year 8

Year 8 students work in groups to address a Big Idea or Question across a range of curriculum areas. In scheduled class time)

Cultural Experiences eg Japan Tour

Years 9-11

Students participate in a language immersion and cultural experience to Japan. Schools Holidays.

Dance Group

Years 8- 11

Students develop skills in Hip Hop dance. After School.


All Years

Students are selected into debating teams and participate in various inter-school competitions.

Drama Productions

All Years

Drama students perform at Drama night and the Year 11 Drama Production.

Duke of Edinburgh

Years 9-12

Students commit to a program of self-improvement and service in the pursuit of their Duke of Edinburgh award. Includes weekend hikes.

English Enrichment

All Years

The English faculty offers a range of enrichment activities for all year groups. Usually before school.

First Aid Training

Year 12

Year 12 students are invited to gain their first aid certificate. One day per year.

Fitness Training

All Years

Students are encouraged to meet and improve their level of fitness. Before School.

Geography Challenge

All Years

Students compete in the Geography challenge.

Go Green

All Years

An environmental group that raises awareness of environmental issues around the school. Lunchtimes.

High Resolves Leadership Program

All of Year 8 and 9

Select students in Year 10

High Resolves forms an important part of our student leadership development program at JRAHS and aims to create global citizens that understand the importance of collective action and have a greater awareness of social justice issues. In class time.

History Debating

Years 10 &11

Students are selected to compete in the History Debating competitions.

History Mastermind

Years 7&8

Students are selected to compete in this History challenge day.

Immersion Experiences eg Central Australia

All Years

Students toured Central Australia and worked in indigenous communities to gain a greater awareness and understanding of Indigenous Australia. School Holidays.

Informatics Enrichment

All Years

Students are trained in computer programming languages with the aim of joining the Informatics Olympiad program. After School.


All Years

The JRAHS Interact club is an active service club which provides opportunities for student service and fundraising for designated courses. Lunchtimes.

Intermediate Concert Band

Years 7,8 and 9

Intermediate level Band. After School.


All Years

International Student Christian Fellowship. Lunchtimes.

Jazz Band

Years 9,10 11

Jazz Band. After School

Jazz Ensemble

Years 11 &12

Select senior students audition for the Jazz Ensembles. After school.

Junior Concert Band

Years 7 and 8

Beginner level Band. Lunchtimes.


All Years

Students learn to knit and contribute to projects such as Wrapt with Love. Lunchtimes.

Library Service

All Years

Students volunteer to help shelve books and serve other students in the library. Lunchtimes.

Mathematics Enrichment

Years 7-10

Students complete the AMT Euler, Guass and Noether series of enrichment activities. Before School.

Maths Olympiad Club

All Years

Students are offered training in Olympiad style mathematics problems. Before School.

Mock Trial Team

Year 11

Students are selected to participate in the NSW Mock Trial (Legal) competition. After School.

Model United Nations Association

Year 11

Interact students are selected to participate in MUNA (run by Rotary International)


Years 8-12

Students participate in the JRAHS annual musical production. After school.

Newbie Network

Year 11 and 12

New senior students to JRAHS mentor the following year’s new students.


All Years

Talented musicians come together to form the school orchestra. After School.

Physics Olympiad Training

All Years

Students are prepared for the Physics NQE. After School.

Poultry Squad

All Years

Students choose to look after our chickens. Lunchtimes.


Year 11/12

Students are elected to the position of JRAHS Prefect.

Programming Club

All Years

Students that share an interest in computer programming meet and share solutions. Lunchtimes.

Public Speaking

All Years

Students are selected to participate in the many public speaking competitions.

Representative Chess

All Years

Ranked chess players compete in various competitions. After School.


All Years

A new program where students are building a robot and will then program robot and compete in competitions. After School.

Rural Youth

All Years

A service based club that promotes rural skills and works towards the promotion of the farm and rural activities.  Produce is sold to support their sponsored child. Lunchtimes.

Ruse Id ( Intranet )

All Years

Students work in their own time to develop the school intranet site.

Ruse Publications

All Years

A team of students produce RUSESTAR, a once a term publication.

School Chess

All Years

Students compete in a school chess competition during lunchtimes.

Science Enrichment

Year 7 and 8

Junior students enjoy engaging science enrichment activities.

Senior Concert Band

Years 8-11

Experienced Concert Band. After School.

Senior Wind Ensemble

Years 9-11

Highly Accomplished Ensemble. After School.

Set Crew

All Years

Design the set and staging of the annual musical. After school.

Shakespeare Festival

All Years

Students perform in various categories of this statewide festival.

Stage Crew

Years 7-11

Students design and build stages for various events.

String Ensemble

Years 7-11

Talented Strings players join the String Ensemble. After school on Tuesday.

Social Justice Team

All years

Students were elected to become part of our very active social justice team. Lunchtimes.

Sound and Lighting

All Years

The Sound and Lighting team ensure the smooth running of assemblies, concerts and the musical.

Sport – Grade and Knockout teams

All Years

A huge range of sporting teams train and compete regularly including table tennis, badminton, volleyball, soccer, cricket, touch football, netball, basketball, tennis, hockey, softball etc. Training for zone and state Athletics, Swimming and Cross Country also occurs.


All Years

The Student Representative Council is made up of elected members from each class and is the student voice of the school.

Stage Crew

All Years

Stage Crew builds stages for the various concerts, assemblies and occasions that occur.

String Ensemble

All Years

String players unite in this talented ensemble. Before School.


All Years

Students raise awareness and money for UNICEF.

Woodwind Ensemble

All Years

Woodwind players combine to form the Woodwind Ensemble. Before School.

Year 10 Peer Support Program and camp

Year 10

Year 10 students participate in a peer support training camp.

Year 11 Crossroads Program and camp

Year 11

Year 11 students participate in our crossroads program and camp.

Year 7 Peer Support program and camp

Year 7

Year 7 students participate in a weekly peer support / transition program which culminates in their Term 1 camp.

Year 7 Values program and ASPIRE

Year 7

Year 7 complete a values program and the ASPIRE program developed by the SRC.

Year 8 Resourceful Adolescent Program and camp

Year 8

Year 8 develop skills in resourcefulness and enjoy a camp.


Years 9,10,11

Students assist in the production of the annual JRAHS Yearbook.